Choosing a Stained Glass Project

Stained glass is a versatile form of artwork that adds beauty and elegance to any room in your home.

Decorating with stained glass not only allows you to enhance the value of your home, but gives it that personal one of a kind touch which can be added in many different areas.

Stained Glass Panels

Stained glass panels can be used to enhance your windows and walls. Stained glass panels are one of the most frequently chosen types of stained glass projects. The versatility in design, size and shape are key factors in popularity. Glass panels can be inserted into window frames, transoms, cabinets, doors, sidelights, as well as used to adorn windows and walls. The design of a panel is unlimited. Any subject or design comes alive by using different colors of glass, textures and dimensions. Although glass panels are basically one dimensional, using overlays, wire and 3-dimensional objects (IE. shells, plates, layers, etc) your panel can have a 3-dimensional appearance. There is no issue with size and shape, because you design your panel to fit the exact shape and size you need. Basically, if you can dream it, you can build it.

Stained Glass Mirrors

Looking for that perfect gift for that someone special in your life? Stained glass mirrors may provide the answer for a truly unique gift idea. Combining a normal piece of mirror with the addition of colorful stained glass as an accent provides for a special piece of artwork. I have built mirrored pieces by using strips of stained glass as an access. Creating different shapes and sizes of stained glass along with varied sizes of mirror also works well. Some of my creations have included pieces that I have hung centered over the sofa which reflects the light already coming into the room. Smaller pieces of combined mirror and stained glass may be more desirable for the bedroom or bath.


Stained glass projects that include a 3d effect in their design are interesting conversational pieces too. These are oftentimes anchored to a decorative wood base and may be best displayed when set on top of a table. Other 3d projects include boxes, terrariums, business card holders, desk organizers, clocks and lamps.

Custom Sized Panels

It has been my experience that suggests a stained glass creation may be better displayed if it is custom designed to fit into an existing opening. When properly built according to that spec, the end result will appear better with little or no light coming from around the outer frame of the glass. A custom feel is quite desirable and will be worth the extra effort involved.

Cabinet Door Inserts

One common place that will surely create interest is the addition of a unique piece of stained glass anchored in a highly visible cabinet door. This can be a little tricky when sizing it to the door based on how you might have to attach it, however, with the addition of glass shelves and an electrical light in the top of the cabinet, the outcome will be something you will cherish every time you look at it in the future. Be prepared that if you don’t have a light inside the cabinet, it may not come off as you expected.


When walking through a big box home improvement store, you may increasingly notice the abundance of “stained glass” used in the fixed glass portion of entry doors. Although these are excellent invitations for someone to enter your home, you may not find the design you specifically need for your house. Create your own. There is special metal frames that can be used to safely insert and hold your own creation on a typical sidelight. This way you can select the right colors for the best look.

Cased Opening Accents

Many homes these days have an abundance of wood trim and this usually includes a pass through a wall into another room which may not include any doors, but most likely includes the jamb and casing. Designs can be incorporated into these openings near the intersection of the top horizontal jamb and each side jamb. It’s almost like envisioning an upside down bookend type of accent.

Keeping in mind when building any stained glass panel that natural or artificial light behind the artwork will always make the glass look better. Colors are more defined and the entire piece will “pop” with absolute brilliance. Textured glass may be necessary at this point to best illustrate the subject at hand.

Frequently, I mount my stained glass pieces in wooden frames which also tend to give substance to their appearance. Wooden frames can be made from any specie of lumber available and of course to any size. Sizing includes the thickness and width of the frame as well. Be careful not to get too big and accidentally remove the focus from the stained glass itself. Experiment with colors of stain too, to pull out the important colors within your stained glass.

Fact of the matter is, you really can’t go wrong when producing your own stained glass. There are infinite mixes to be explored by using different colors, textures, sizes, shapes of glass not to mention framing materials. Nothing is right or wrong, YOU are the artist. Have fun!